Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Doctors in Dreamland

NOTE: I have come into possession of a number of documents describing life in a future society, known as Dreamland, in which dreaming is central to education, medicine, community planning, creativity and family life. Pending publication of the entire collection, I shall post occasional excerpts here. The present excerpt provides insights into the practice of dream diagnosis and imaginal healing in this dreaming society.

Our doctors are dreamers. No one in Dreamland would consider diagnosing or prescribing without consulting dreams. In our medical schools, we learn, as Galen already knew that the dreaming mind can travel throughout the body and report on its condition in exact detail. A change in a single cell can be detected in a dream many years before the condition has spread far enough to produce detectable physical symptoms.

Many of our physicians have a sign on their wall that reads “MY PATIENT IS MY COLLEAGUE”. Some have expanded this into a personal charter. One of the ways doctors and patients learn from each other is by swapping dreams.

But dream diagnosis begins long before a visit to a doctor’s office, in regular dream-sharing and – where the dreamer feels that specialist knowledge may be required – in wellness or pre-need clinics where the dream helpers are often nurses.

Imagery harvesting is central in the treatment of illness. Our approach is that any dream image can offer a path to healing, if it is worked correctly. This often requires continuing the dream, often with the aid of a helper who will accompany the dreamer on a conscious journey back into the dreamscape.

Dream reentry is one of our core techniques for healing. A personal image provides the doorway for a conscious journey, in which the dreamer may be accompanied by a friend or guide, even a whole family of dream travelers. Relaxation and focused intention are the keys to this mode of conscious dream travel. In many cases, sonic driving (especially when generated by live shamanic drumming) is used to deepen and accelerate the journey.

Some dreams provide portals for soul recovery, an essential mode of healing that the ancestor shamans helped us to reclaim, to save at least some of our kind from joining the march of the husk people, the living dead. Shamans know that soul loss – the loss of vital energy and identity – it at the root of illness and despair. We loss vital soul through grief and trauma and heartbreak, through wrenching life choices that leave us divided against ourselves, through habits of deceit and addiction that drive our bright spirits to abandon us in disgust. Soul loss can reduce us to the condition of the walking dead, passionless and dreary, forever trying to fit in with other people's needs and expectations, lost to any sense of purpose.

Dreams show us where our missing parts may have gone, and invite us to reach in and bring them back. When we dream again and again of the “old place” (maybe a childhood home, maybe a space we shared with a former partner), we may be learning that a part of ourselves is stuck in that place, or went missing at the time we lived there. By going back inside the dream of the old place, we may be able to locate that lost aspect of our own identity and energy, and find the way to bring it back into our hearts and our lives.

In the hearthfire circles where we gather with our intentional families at least one evening a week, we tend the dreams that show us where the soul has gone and help each other with fierce compassion to bring it home.

Our flying doctors work with the souls of the dead as well as the souls of the living. Our best clues to where we are needed come from spontaneous night dreams in which sleepers receive visitations from the departed and travel, often unconsciously, into realms where the departed are at home. Such encounters can be the source of much-needed healing, forgiveness and closure, as well as mutual guidance. When they are released from the second body, the departed may become wise counselors and “family angels”. Prior to that liberation, they may need help from our healers because they are enmeshed in the sticky stuff of old cravings, rancor and desire. “The living have the ability to assist the imaginations of the dead,” as the poet said. Our flying doctors operate in this understanding, on both sides of the swing-door of physical death.


Bob W said...

This beautiful post is for me a complete summary of what has drawn me to, and kept me excited about, this wonderful work we have done the past 11 years now, and about getting these ideas out to all who will listen! And, I appreciate the "patients as colleagues" mention, which came as a snapper to a big dream that I had during my Integrative Medicine Fellowship training, and that I shared again this past year. Thanks!

Robert Moss said...

Hi Bob - Thanks for the wonderful example you set for other medical practitioners in your ability to integrate complementary techniques including our Active Dreaming methods. You are a doctor who is ready for Dreamland and will show others the way!

Wanda Burch said...

When faced with a dream directing me toward chemotherapy, I recall saying, "Who says doctors don't dream" - that statement was meant to soften self-doubt and buoy my spirit for the battle ahead. But it became more than that. It was the beginning of an extraordinary journey of discovering the magic of combining dream imagery with physician-prescribed medicine, stirred, not shaken, with a bit of soul, to produce my "healing cocktail."

Then in a seductive dance, two steps forward and one step back, I explored the spaces and places in Dreamland where the extraordinary is ordinary, where Dreamers pull empty Mayan jars from the shelves and find clear lymph nodes, rebuild their cellular structure by manipulating popcorn men, reclaim magical words from flowing streams that become life lessons for healing, take off the inappropriate lime green dress and put on their Goddess shoes to escape the terror of a wounded childhood. They dive deep into the recesses of ancient healing pools, face death, claim life and soar to the tops of mountains to renegotiate contracts that require more than survival.

Diagnosing, prescribing, healing, surviving, creating, and thriving with joyful purpose, those who claim a place in Dreamland connect with the wholeness of living.

Robert Moss said...

Dear Wanda - You evoke beautifully how the imagination is not only a mode of healing, but a PLACE we can visit again and again for fun and adventure and to reconstruct our bodies and our worlds. I know several physicians who have grown in their understanding of how dreaming can be medicine through your example, and your marvelous book "She Who Dreams" incites all of us to wake up to our dreams and the creative power of "making things up".

Robin O’Neal said...

I love this vision of the future and am inspired to pursue its evolution. The "hearthfire circles" is such a wonderful image - save us from the "march of the husk people" (again, powerful imagery). As I read, I thought that instead of doctors who make "housecalls" Dreamland Docs make "dreamcalls" ;-)

Grace said...

I would love to be a nurse in this future time. For now, I can lead the way by honoring and following my own dreams and encouraging others to voice theirs, always giving them my listening ear (and remembering lightning dreamwork).
My past childhood self always knew there really was magic. My present self knows the future will hold many gifts that we don't have yet, but the seeds are planted. However, I need to dream on a way to combine my present dharma of working as a nurse in this lifetime with this dreamwork. I could see in the future a prescription being given out to dream and journey with certain intentions to facilitate treatment options, it's really so simple.
Also, I think working with hospice patients and dreamwork would be such a gift to them.
p.s...Wanda, I love your book! it's a great example.

susan&lucky said...

first, i wonder how can you be such a pure vessel for all the wonderous truths that flow to and through you?in other words, "take me to your leader". journaling since last spring reviewing my dreams looking for the key(s) your blog of feb 10, 2009 gave me my answer in fact some previous blogs i read randomly gave me the precise answers i needed. thank you for everything! recently acquired your history of dreaming book- my dreams all pre-shadowed the stories and revelations written therein. whats up? you have also been a character in several of my dreams.in your first apperance you said you usually didn't do things like this but you proceded to put forward two pieces of paper one yellow one white with three names on them, three women i believe. weeks later you were in a dream i call the mother lode. it started with me looking out the window like your dream spy of madrid the last scene you were a witness as papers were being signed in red on a round table strewn with contracts some pages had fallen to the floor and there were gold leaves that had fallen all around. you were distinctly helping me and again,thank you. this world, to which you are a gate keeper is more important and relevant than anything else. i am at once blown away restored humbled illuminated inspired impelled compelled intoxicated entranced empowered turned into light dissolving into all and everything. susan & lucky

Robert Moss said...

Hi Grace - you are definitely a nurse who is ready for an important residency in Dreamland! You are so right about how appropriate and necessary it is to apply our Active Dreaming techniques to hospice work and supporting people everywhere to prepare for the Big journey and approach the last phase of life with dignity and grace. I wrote a chapter on "Active Dreaming to Help the Dying" in my Dreamer's Book of the Dead. There is so much more work to be done in this area, and you will be one of the trailblazers!

Dear Susan (& Lucky): Thanks so much for your warm-hearted, glowing post. I am certainly intrigued by those documents seen through the dream window. I suppose I had better get on with bringing through more "docuemnts from the future"!

birdsong said...

Dreams are indeed most powerful and this time swift and clear. I made a decision to handle a bad situation by focusing on whatever good I could see in it and thus drawing that to me to lower the stress of the situation. After making that decision I went to sleep and dreamed I was in a place where focusing on the good was not enough. I had to find a solution to stop the damage and not simply turn a blind eye to it.
Afterward a few objective observers commented (without knowing about the dream) supporting the dream message.
Now I'm going back into the dream time for specific solutions and I know I will get them.

Sue said...

Today as we celebrate President Lincoln and Charles Darwin's birthdays, I find myself reflecting on how far we have come in human evolution. The Doctors in Dreamland post has so many versions: a President in Dreamland, Scientists in Dreamland, Inventors in Dreamland, and hopefully soon Bankers in Dreamland!

Being led to your blog today and this post is synchronistic with a dream alert I received last night about my health. I immediately thought of Wanda's dream accounts in "She Who Dreams" and took action. Thank you for all your teachings and inspiration.

Robert Moss said...

Hi Birdsong - Yes, dreams hold up a magic mirror in which we can see our current situations and behavior with clarity and objectivity. They also offer specific solutions.

Dear Sue - Further documents from the future, when transmitted through what current science calls "time-reversed interference" (future science has more euphonious terms), will reveal how other aspects of society function in Dreamland. Wishing you well in all ways.

Robert Moss said...
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Laurie said...

As a nurse I can definitely see this kind of future. These techniques are timeless. Complimentary treatments like Healing Touch and Sound Therapy were once far out and are now mainstream. Imagine receiving a Rx for dream scan or dream therapy! Remember we are all energy and the body has the remarkable ability to self heal.

Robert Moss said...

Hi Laurie - I love the idea of an Rx for a dream scan or dream therapy. That is actually mainstream medicine in Dreamland, and you are the kind of nurse who will be entirely at home there.

Lynette Turner said...

Thank you for this eloquent sharing of a vibrant and healing environment, which nurtures our mind, body and spirit. As I envision this Dreamland I am encouraged by the power it holds to heal, and the opportunity to embrace elements of this Dreamland in the here and now. Once again you remind us of the incredible powers our dreams hold. And dream weavers we are.

Dr. John L. Turner said...

Aloha Robert,

Thank you for direting me to this blog, very interesting. Earlier today, I suggested to Merryn the book, "The Kin of Ata are Waiting for You." Then I heard of your entry on Doctors in Dreamland!

Thank you for your writing on dreams, exciting stuff!


J. Turner